Presentations are a way of life in business.
And – despite what you may hear from some quarters – PowerPoint remains a popular tool for helping to deliver them.
You may in your VA career come across grumbles from some clients or company employees.
They might even use the withered phrase “Death by PowerPoint”.
But what they really mean is they have endured experiences where the presenter was poor – or the slides were dull and boring.
The tool itself is designed to deliver impressive presentations. It’s the people who use it badly who need to make some changes.
As a Virtual Assistant, it’s probable that at some point you will be asked to put something together for a client – or even create something for your own business.
Here are THREE ways to ensure your presentations on PowerPoint sing a beautiful tune.
Tip 1: Use ONE Idea per Slide…
One of the biggest reasons why presentations miss the mark is too much is crammed onto the slides.
It makes it dull and hard for the audience to take in the information.
Each slide should have just one core message.
And the presenter can speak to that message – then move on to the next slide and the next idea.
They should have prepared and practised their talk beforehand. And there is a ‘notes’ feature in PowerPoint should they need a little prompt.
Tip 2: Keep it Simple…
Before you jump into PowerPoint, take time to get the story straight in your mind.
Sketch out little visual representations of your ideas on sticky notes or some paper. This helps you to think of clear words and pictures before you begin to create them in the application.
It’s another way to avoid writing loads of words on the screen. Simple works best.
Tip 3: Turn Your Words Into Pictures…
They say a picture paints a thousand words.
And it’s certainly true that Images are easier for people to instantly grasp and understand.
So, take a look at the words on your slides or being considered for your slides.
For example, you may have a slide with bullet points.
Pick out and circle all the nouns or verbs on the slide and see how they relate to each other.
What you may well find is that you can recognise a visual relationship between those words. And it’s likely to be one of five types.
- Flow – Which reveals a process. Like a flow chart or diagram.
- Structure – Like a family tree or team hierarchy.
- Cluster – It shows groupings. For example, a Venn diagram.
- Radiate – This shows links or nodes. For example, a Mind Map.
- Influence – This picture presents cause and effect. For example, a Fishbone Diagram
The better you know how to use PowerPoint (and all its design features) the better you will be able to serve your clients.
Some will be confident about presentations and know exactly what they want. Some may be less sure about talks.
As a VA with presentation expertise, you can offer advice and guidance about how best to put everything together.
And in guiding your client through the process you will also be making your task a little easier as well.
When you know how to use the software – the tasks become fun!